Streptococcus suis Expert Invited to China

Dr. Marcelo Gottschalk, who runs the Streptococcus suis Reference Laboratory at the University of Montreal, has been invited to visit China to research the recent outbreak of the disease which has been blamed for killing 40 people and hundreds of pigs. Dr. Gottschalk recently expressed concern that the disease appeared far more severe than normal and hadn't exhibited the usual symptoms typically associated with the disease in humans (principally meningitis). He raised the possibility that the bacteria had merged with other strains resulting in a much more virulent disease.

Dr. Gottschalk will be sending 2 researchers from McGill University's Center for the Study of Host Resistance at Montreal General Hospital to Beijing at the end of September for two to three weeks. Mariela Segura, a former student of Dr. Gottschalk and an immunologist, is "an expert on the inflammatory reaction caused by S. suis" Gottschalk said. Zhong Su, also an immunologist originally from China, has "extensive experience in inflammation" according to a recent article in The Standard.